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Can't open "recovered" files

Question

Hi, I've had some crisis with Flash Card being unreadable to the computer. I've used ZAR to recover the images and it seems like it did recover something, because I have a folder full of TIFF images (I was shooting RAW on Canon 20d). However, I cannot open those recovered files. The moment I select one of them Explorer closes. Photoshop behaves the same way, when I click on a recovered image to open ... it closes really fast.

What is wrong? How can I open those files?

Answer

Generally, such a behavior points to the problem with recovered files. Most likely, they are damaged in some way, for example something wrong with their headers. Anyway, further investigation requires getting access to the files and you can try renaming them:

  1. Open Windows Explorer.
  2. Navigate to the folder containing the files, but do NOT select any file.
  3. On the menu, select "View" -- "List".
  4. After that, you probably can "touch" the file. Right click it, select "Rename". Rename to whatever you like but make sure you include ".badfile" in the end. It will prompt you about change of extension, acknowledge this.
In the thumbnails/tiles/details view, Explorer tries to read and parse the contents of the file. If the file is damaged badly, this may cause Explorer to fail/close. We need to trick it to avoid doing so.

If this does not work, any kind of a simple file manager (e.g. FAR, TotalCommander) will probably do a rename.
Question

I've shot 463 photos (7 Mpixels each) with my pentax optio 20 camera with 4MB SD memory card. All these photos were accidentally deleted so I used ZAR which reconstructed them (except one because it took so much time -about 3 hours- that the camera went out of battery). Anyway all the 463 pictures were copied in the hard disk. However i can see only the first 200 of them. The others (263) cant be opened because of a file header problem or something. I tried to repair them using some software but it didnt work. ZAR seemed to work perfectly, no alerts, no bad messages, nothing. Can you tell me please what can i do to see the rest of my pictures?

Answer

The only thing I can think of is that the battery died in the middle of the image recovery process causing that only the first 200 photos were recovered successfully. So I suggest you to:

  1. Charge the battery fully again
  2. Start ZAR, on the first screen click "Advanced Configuration"
  3. In there, on the "Image recovery" tab, set "End-of-file detection" to "None"
  4. Click OK to close configuration and retry.
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